Lanier Spence (1917 - 1962)



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1917 - In the year that Lanier Spence was born, on July 28, between ten and fifteen thousand blacks silently walked down New York City's Fifth Avenue to protest racial discrimination and violence. Lynchings in Waco Texas and hundreds of African-Americans killed in East St. Louis Illinois had sparked the protest. Picket signs said "Mother, do lynchers go to heaven?" "Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy?" "Thou shalt not kill." "Pray for the Lady Macbeth's of East St. Louis" and "Give us a chance to live."

1928 - This person was merely 11 years old when Mickie Mouse was born! He first appeared in Disney's Steamboat Willie, along with Minnie. Although they were in two previous shorts, this was the first to be distributed. Steamboat Willie took advantage of the new technology and was a "talkie" - music was coordinated with the animation. It became the most popular cartoon of its day.

1934 - When this person was 17 years old, on November 11th 1933, an extremely strong dust storm hit South Dakota, stripping topsoil. Other strong dust storms had occurred during 1933. Severe droughts continued to hit the Great Plains and the dust storms devastated agricultural production as well as people's' lives for several years. The Roosevelt administration and scientists eventually determined that farming practices had caused the conditions that led to the dust storms and the changes they implemented in farming stopped the Dust Bowl.

1942 - When this person was 25 years old, on November 28th at 10:15p, a nightclub in Boston, the Cocoanut Grove, caught fire. The origins of the fire are unknown but it killed 492 people - the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. Hundreds more were injured. The disaster was so shocking that it replaced World War II in the headlines and lead to reforms in safety standards and codes.

1962 - In the year of Lanier Spence's passing, lasting from October 16th - 28th, the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest that the United States and the Soviet Union came to nuclear war. The Soviet Union had been installing a nuclear missile base in Cuba. The United States established a blockade to stop the base from being completed. Through secret negotiations, war was averted: the Soviet Union agreed to dismantle their weapons in Cuba and the United States agreed to never invade Cuba and to dismantle weapons in Turkey and Italy.

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Lanier Spence passed away in January 1962 at 44 years of age. No cause of death has been listed. Lanier was born on October 1, 1917. There is no information about Lanier's family.


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